Gerhard H. Bakker (1906 - 1988)

Birth date: 1906 Death date: 1988  
Birth location: Solingen-Wald, Germany Death location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin  
Media: Drawing , Graphic Art , Illustration , Painting , Photography Web site:
Comprehensive (file rating) - Major Wisconsin artist file that includes comprehensive documentation on artist's life that can be researched on site at MWA.

Biographical Brief

Layton School of Art faculty member.

Biography

Gerhard H. Bakker
Born 1906 in Solingen-Wald, Germany
Died 1988

Known as a “Jack-of-all-Arts and Master of Many,” Gerhard Bakker’s work covered a broad range of media: watercolor painting, drawing, and graphic arts in lithography, etching and block printing.  He was photographer, advertising designer, illustrator and prize winner in numerous exhibitions.

Born to Dutch parents in Germany, he studied and taught at Gewerbeschule in Solingen. In 1930, at the age of 23, he moved to Milwaukee. He subsequently studied under Gerrit V. Sinclair at the Layton School of Art. As the Depression deepened in the United States, he joined the faculty of the Layton School of Art and started the Photography Department.  Bakker also lived and shared studio space in the Plankinton Avenue Art Colony during these same years.

Bakker was involved with the Public Works Arts Project in 1933-34.  In 1934 he studied at the Broadmoor Art Academy in Colorado Springs under Boardman Robinson, Ward Lockwood and Tabor Utley.  After returning to Milwaukee he was a mechanical engineer at the A.O Smith Corporation and Industrial Designer at the Baird Company before resuming his teaching career at Layton School of Art.  Bakker was also represented in the Wisconsin Artists Calendar 1937 and 1938 and the Calendar of Wisconsin Art 1940 and 1941.

A constant exhibitor in major Wisconsin and national art and photography shows, Bakker often won prizes for his entries.  He was a member of Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors, Walrus Club a Milwaukee Men’s Art Org., Wisconsin Printmakers, Prairie Printmakers, Southern Printmakers, Camera Craftsmen of America and Parlot Society of America.  His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Historical Society of Wisconsin, WPA Biographical Sketches of Wisconsin Artists, Milwaukee Art Museum, West Bend Art Museum, Wisconsin Union Art Collection - UW-Milwaukee, and the Wichita Art Museum.

Selected One-Person Exhibitions

1934 Milwaukee Art Institute        
 1935  Evanston, Illinois

Selected Group Exhibitions

1932   WI Painters & Sculptors Nineteenth annual Exhibition, Milwaukee Art
            Institute (also 1936)
 1934  Federal Public Works of Art Project Exhibition, Corcoran Gallery of Art
1936
 9th annual Exhibition of American Blockprints, Wichita Kansas Museum
            (prize winner)
 1936  International Print Show, Chicago Art Institute
 1936  Denver Art Museum (prize winner)
 1936  1936 Wisconsin Centennial Art
1973 A Century Plus of Wisconsin Watercolors, Milwaukee, WI
1998 150 Years of Wisconsin Printmaking

Bibliography

Who Was Who in American Art, Falk

150 Years of Wisconsin Printmaking, © 1998

Elvehjem Museum of Art, UW- Madison, WI
German American Artists In Early Milwaukee, © 1997 Peter c. Merrill (pg 61 Layton School of Art)

History of Milwaukee County, ©1947, Milwaukee Public Library

Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State, ©1941 Builders of Milwaukee, ©1946 George Bruce

Wisconsin Heritage, ©1954 Bertha Kitchell Whyte

Milwaukee Fine Arts Guide, ©1977
Craftsmen of Wisconsin, ©1971 Bertha Kitchell Whyte

150 Years of Wisconsin Printmaking, © 1998 Elvehjem Museum of Art, UW- Madison, WI

German American Artists In Early Milwaukee, © 1997 Peter c. Merrill (pg 61 Layton School of Art)

History of Milwaukee County, ©1947, Milwaukee Public Library

Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State, ©1941

Builders of Milwaukee, ©1946 William George Bruce

Wisconsin Heritage, ©1954 Bertha Kitchell Whyte

Milwaukee Fine Arts Guide, ©1977

Craftsmen of Wisconsin, ©1971 Bertha Kitchell Whyte

       
       
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